High school students have a lot more power than they may think. These people start marches and reach out to their representatives to get something done. Without teenagers participating in community service, little would get done.
High school students are passionate about their communities and the world because they know they will have to deal with the effects of the laws passed and issues that come up today. There are several ways these students can make a difference in their communities.
We’ve listed 20 fun, unique, and meaningful community service ideas for high school students, segregated into volunteering and fundraising activities.
Volunteer work is the most common way high school students can impact their communities. This list provides 14 general and specific volunteer opportunities you can participate in to help the community and local nonprofits.
1. Clean up a park
Parks are an essential part of any neighborhood. Whether a child’s playground or a nature preserve, these areas provide a free option for families and individuals to break from modern society. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way about protecting the health of these areas. Litter looks dirty and can harm the animals who live in these areas and the parks themselves.
The best thing about this volunteer opportunity is how easy it is to do. You don’t need a large group of helpers, and you don’t need a lot of planning. Just grab a garbage bag and head to your nearest park. There will likely be plenty for you to pick up, and no one will give you a hard time doing it.
Your local nonprofits will often have such volunteering opportunities listed on their websites. For example, the below nonprofit website has a page dedicated to their need for volunteers for clean-up activities.
2. Help your neighbors
Another easy way to volunteer in your community is by asking neighbors how you can help. Your neighbors will appreciate the help, especially if they’re older or have recently become parents and have extra responsibilities.
Remember, this is a volunteer opportunity, so don’t charge for your services this time. There are several services you can offer:
- Lawn mowing
- Walk the dogs
- Rake leaves
- Clean gutters
- Additional housework
Schools and nonprofit groups can also hold a volunteer service day in their communities and ask high school students to sign up as individuals or in groups.
3. Political letter campaign
Political involvement isn’t closed to high school students. Young people have had some of the most significant effects on our politics. Look at past movements like the Anti-Vietnam movement. Those students won the right to vote for ages 18 and older.
More recently, Parkland school students have shown the power of teenagers. Thanks in part to their efforts, government officials are paying attention, and federal law was finally passed.
You don’t have to go as far as planning a march, but a letter campaign by students in your school can go a long way in getting politicians’ attention.
4. Read to kids
Not all parents can spend that much time reading to their children, and those children find school more difficult than their peers. If you’re interested in volunteering, you can contact your local library or public elementary schools to see if they already have a volunteer reading program. If not, ask if you and some friends can come to read to the children after school.
In the below campaign, the Police officials spend time reading to and with kids in the community. They’re raising funds alongside to buy books for the kids as well.
Get Started With Donorbox
5. Walk shelter dogs
Over three million dogs enter US animal shelters every year. Shelters do their best to care for these animals, but they are often understaffed and incapable of giving all dogs the necessary exercise. If you love animals, your local shelter probably has volunteer opportunities to walk the dogs or play with cats.
6. Teach English to new immigrants
You know how difficult it is to learn another language. This is how many immigrants feel when coming to America. Teaching English can be easy for you. Your local literacy, immigrant, or school group may be looking for native English speakers to help tutor new immigrants. Join them and volunteer a couple of days a week to support the new immigrants.
PIECES helps students from different backgrounds learn English by recruiting volunteers based on their English-speaking skills. With the below campaign being one of many, they’ve started their 2022 Summer program to teach English across schools.
7. Collect clothes and personal items for foster kids
Did you know there are nearly 424,000 children in foster care in the US? Foster care can be traumatic and children may come with a small suitcase with few personal items. Whether government or nonprofit, foster care organizations are generally underfunded and cannot afford to provide many clothes, toys, or personal hygiene items to these children. High school students can collect things from friends, families, and local businesses to give these kids.
8. Join Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is a national nonprofit that provides children with mentoring from adults and high school-age children. These mentors help kids with their homework and other life experiences. Big Brothers Big Sisters has a School-Based Mentoring Program where high school students can help their littles during school hours.
9. Deliver food for Meals on Wheels
The pandemic made us realize how lonely life is when trapped in your home. This realization has opened our eyes to the lives many senior citizens have lived for so long. High school students who’ve just gotten their license can volunteer with Meals on Wheels, share healthy meals, and socialize with senior citizens in their community.
10. Volunteer with a suicide crisis line
Suicide crisis lines are sometimes the last option people have before taking their lives, and these organizations need volunteers willing and able to help. Trained volunteers learn how to support those who call. If you’re uncomfortable with answering calls, some organizations also offer tools for schools that students can share and force change where it’s needed.
Movement of Recovery is a group of health professionals including counselors, psychologists, etc. who are in need of a hand as they’re overwhelmed with calls for help. You can always check with such groups in your community to help people recover. Be prepared to spend time being trained, which comes with such volunteering opportunities.
11. Help build with a local Habitat for Humanity
Almost every nonprofit uses nonprofits, but one of the most well-known and fun volunteer opportunities is with Habitat for Humanity. This organization builds homes for people who qualify.
You probably have a local Habitat for Humanity branch near you. These branches offer individual, group, and volunteer events for those interested.
12. Collect food for a food pantry
Food pantries are having trouble feeding everyone that comes. During the pandemic, you probably saw news reports about the long lines at some of these organizations. The situation may have improved, but not so much. They still need a hand in feeding people.
High school students can help out in several ways.
- Have your class or school collect canned goods
- Pack and hand out food with your local pantry
- Stock food pantry shelves
- Event volunteering
13. Use social media skills to help local nonprofits
Many organizations do not have professional social media staff to help spread the word about their work and events. Your skills are highly valued as a high school student who knows their way around social media apps.
Find an organization whose mission you care about and see if they need help online. Some nonprofits may have this opportunity listed on their website, but others may not know what they need. You can connect with them to share how social media can bring in more donors and how you can help. You’ll also be able to use this experience on a resume when you graduate.
14. Provide free babysitting
Babysitting is a great way to make money, but many families who need babysitting help can’t afford it. This is especially true with the increase in food and gas prices.
If you’re looking for a way to volunteer, you can start with local families who need you to watch their children for free. Parents will appreciate the chance to work or spend a few hours alone. You can take this a step further by joining with other friends and creating a nonprofit organization or group that provides this service.
Volunteering is not the only community service option for high school students. Social media and online donation platforms make it easier to hold an event and raise funds for the community or local nonprofits they want to support. Here are 6 fun and meaningful ideas to implement.
15. Hold a talent show event with a local nonprofit
Do you love to sing or dance or play an instrument? You can use these talents to raise funds and support a local nonprofit. You can hold this event at a park, your school, or another venue.
If you are unsure how to afford the location, you can always ask the nonprofit for their help. Once you finalize the date and location, you’ll want to find the talent (maybe among other volunteers as well as kids and adults in the community) and sell tickets online. Spread the word on social media and contact local newspapers and radio stations to let them know.
Donorbox Events makes selling tickets a breeze. You can very easily create an online event page and add an event-ticketing form to the page. You can also embed this form on your website if you don’t want your potential attendees to navigate away. Once people buy tickets, they will receive the ticket as well as a receipt in their email. You and other volunteers, and the nonprofit can manage these tickets and purchasers’ information at the backend. The best part of this feature is that you can also accept donations from the event page.
Check out the below event-ticketing form and the event page created on Donorbox for a style show in the community.
Try Donorbox Events
16. Raise funds on your birthday
If you’re not ready to throw an event, you can always collect donations on your birthday instead of presents. Online fundraising platforms like Donorbox allow anyone to create a fundraising campaign to raise funds.
Share your reasons why you care about an organization’s mission and how donations will make a difference in people’s lives. Choose a start and end date and financial goal before you begin. As you raise more money, update friends and family on how your campaign is doing. The below birthday fundraising campaign is started by Karina for the nonprofit called 22STARS Foundation.
17. Sleepout campaigns
Homeless shelters across the US have started to hold sleepout campaigns to give people a taste of what it’s like to be homeless and raise funds to help those who live with this reality every day.
You can join one of these events or start your own and raise money with an online campaign. Sleepout campaigns raise awareness and funds to stop homelessness. You can contact a local shelter to see if they already have a campaign or get a few friends together and hold your own.
Donorbox Peer-to-Peer helps start peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns to help nonprofits acquire more donors and boost outreach and donations. You can help the nonprofit create a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign on Donorbox. Together, you can invite the interested volunteers as well as other supporters (board members, friends, family, staff, ardent donors) to fundraise online for them. Donorbox automates most of the process and setting everything up takes only a few minutes.
In the below example, Julie Moravchik, a fundraiser, helps Wisconsin Unrainians Inc. raise funds to support Ukrainian families.
18. Bake sale
Bake sales are always a fun and easy way to raise money. If you have a favorite dish or love of baking, you can start a bake sale and sell items at your school or local farmers’ market to raise funds for your favorite charity. You can also hold a bake sale online!
19. Join a charity run
If you live in the suburbs, you’ve probably seen a sign almost every week advertising a 5k or charity run. Charity runs have become a popular way to raise money for nonprofits.
People join these runs or walk-a-thons because they want to be healthy, challenge themselves, and support their favorite organizations. Look around and see who has a charity run you’d like to join and ask friends and family to make a pledge and encourage your participation.
Like Matt Grant, a runner for the 2022 New York City Marathon (in the example below), you can too help a nonprofit and its cause by running and raising funds for them.
Try Donorbox Peer-to-Peer
20. Help raise funds for care packages
Care packages give everyone a feeling of love and support. US troops worldwide are away from their families and appreciate receiving something that reminds them of home. Receiving a care package with food, personal hygiene items, toys, blankets, and more will help them know they’re not alone.
High school students don’t have to wait until they’re an adult to make a difference. Community service opportunities are available everywhere for them and younger children. Use one of these simple, fun, and meaningful ideas to help your local nonprofit or the school, or the community at large.
We’ve also written an article on school fundraising ideas for elementary, middle, and high school as well as college. Some of these ideas might as well be implemented by young and older students. Do check them out for more inspiration.
Be it helping the community or raising money for a local nonprofit, online fundraising can be quite handy and a simple method for high school students. Since they’re well-versed in the online and social media world, it is even easier for nonprofits to encourage them to help spread the word. Donorbox has helped 80,000+ nonprofits raise money online, boost outreach, and manage donors effectively. Some of our best features include Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer, Recurring Donations, Text-to-Give, QuickDonate, Donor Management, Events, Memberships, etc. You can get started for free and there are no monthly contracts either!
If you’re a school, PTA, or nonprofit organization looking to reach your full donation potential, check out Donorbox Premium! We help you with expert fundraising coaching, a dedicated account ambassador who’ll be there through every challenge, an adept tech team, and high-powered tools. Pricing will be personalized for your organization. Book a demo here.
Explore school fundraising blogs, fundraising tips and ideas, and free downloadable resources on the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll send a hand-picked list of the best Donorbox resources like blogs, podcast episodes, webinars, feature updates, etc., to your inbox every month.